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Why is this medication prescribed?
Adalimumab is used alone or in combination with other medications (such as methotrexate) to reduce the pain, swelling, and difficulty with daily activities caused by rheumatoid arthritis and to stop the disease from causing further damage to joints. It is only used in patients who have taken other medications to treat their disease and have not gotten better. Adalimumab is in a class of medications called tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. It works by blocking the activity of TNF, a substance in the body that causes swelling and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis.
How should this medicine be used?
Adalimumab comes as a solution to inject subcutaneously (under the skin). It is usually injected once every other week, or in some cases, once a week. To help you remember to take adalimumab, mark the days you are scheduled to take it on your calendar. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use adalimumab exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
You will receive your first dose of adalimumab in your doctor's office. After that, you can inject adalimumab yourself or have a friend or relative perform the injections. Before you use adalimumab yourself the first time, read the written instructions that come with it. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you or the person who will be injecting the medication how to inject it.
Adalimumab comes in prefilled syringes. Use each syringe only once and inject all the solution in the syringe. Even if there is still some solution left in the syringe after you inject, do not inject again. Dispose used syringes in a puncture-resistant container. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about how to dispose of the puncture-resistant container.
You can inject adalimumab anywhere on the front of your thighs or stomach except your navel and the area two inches around it. To reduce the chances of soreness or redness, use a different site for each injection.The new injection should be given at least 1 inch away from the previous injection. Keep a list of the places where you have given injections so that you will not inject in these places again. Do not inject into an area where the skin is tender, bruised, red, or hard or where you have scars or stretch marks.
To inject adalimumab, follow these steps:
Adalimumab controls rheumatoid arthritis but does not cure it. Continue to use adalimumab even if you feel well. Do not stop using adalimumab without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before using adalimumab,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Inject the missed dose as soon as you remember it. Then inject the next dose on your regularly scheduled day. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Adalimumab may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
Adalimumab may increase the risk of developing certain types of cancers including lymphoma (a cancer of the lymph system). People who have had severe rheumatoid arthritis for a long time may have a greater than normal chance of developing these cancers even if they do not use adalimumab. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking this medication.
Adalimumab may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it in the refrigerator and protect it from light. Do not freeze it. If you are traveling and need to take adalimumab with you, keep it in a cooler with an ice pack and do not expose it to light. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT